Disability: a journey through time to understand it

THETogether we can help create a new idea and perception of disability. As? Starting with his history with a long and tedious journey through time to today’s achievements and the very definition of disability UN Convention for education and awareness on this issue

When we talk about disabilities it seems appropriate to clarify that there is always a disability before the disability face and there are right ways to talk about it. Well, I am Stigmatizing terms must be absolutely avoided and it is necessary to promote the self-determination and social participation of people with disabilities.

Certainly the concept of disability has changed over time and to understand this, we can briefly know the history of disability and how it has become, today, an issue of human rights and social inclusion to help identify the challenges and problems faced by people with disabilities. faced in the past and how these challenges can be overcome and mitigated in the future.

In order to better understand our past and glimpse into the future, it is important to know what steps were taken before us, disability or not

However, it is wrongly assumed that the concept of disability is a purely modern discourse that concerns only our time. On the contrary, already in the first forms of culture we find many references to disability.

In the past, natural diversity was represented as something positive: for example in Egyptian society it was considered a sign of the presence of the Gods. A concept that, however, was lost with the first Greek societies in which we see disability connected, on the contrary, with a “punishment” from the Gods.

It is unfortunately known that in its beginnings Greek and Roman society newborns born with some malformation were killed. This phenomenon is like this brutal and unreasonable finds “justification” in the fact that the decision to raise a child fell to a committee of elders tasked with choosing the future of the city and making it unified with standard fees, so the birth of a disabled child was not a private situation but it concerned the whole society. Let us also remember that Greek society was founded on ideals of perfection, strength and beauty. Elements of the era away from the world of disability.

Until the end of itRoman Empire Unfortunately, society did not change its mind towards people with disabilities and indeed, mothers were often held responsible as well. Further discrimination in an already difficult historical context for women, full of ignorance, fear and superstition that did not help either women or people with disabilities.

During the Middle Ages the concept of disability was associated with his poverty: Citizens with disabilities were considered unable to work and therefore poor. This lasted until a new attitude led to the integration of some disabled people into the world of work.

However, it was only thanks to the Enlightenment, or the eighteenth century, that actions in favor of people with disabilities began to be established

This is because there was the idea that every person is endowed with dignity and humanity, even if they were always understood as a person to be taken care of, in need of care.

During the first decades of the twentieth century, its outbreak World War I led to about 10 million people in Europe crippled and disabled, opening a new scenario of disability, with rapid expansions in the production of aids for disabled people as well as an acceleration of social security measures.

In Italy, for example, there was the compulsory provision of disability and old-age insurance in 1919; However, only in its last decades Twentieth century, we witnessed an epochal and effective change that affirmed the rights of people with disabilities in the social and labor spheres. All this thanks also to the development of the state’s social policies on disability, thanks to the associations founded for people with disabilities, to the development of science, medicine and to the voice of many people with disabilities which finally no longer comes second .

Even the years Seventy and eighty have contributed greatly to making society more inclusive through some laws and regulations for persons with disabilities. A typical example was its demolition architectural barriersthe establishment of a vehicle license for disabled people and the 1977 law that opened common schools to disabled students for full inclusion and L.104/1992, all important goals for disabled people and for society as a whole.

In recent decades, the voices of people with disabilities have become increasingly important and relevant.

The UN Convention on the rights of persons with disabilities underlines the importance of ensuring the right of persons with disabilities to participate fully in social, economic and cultural life

Starting from this very definition – “For people with disability means those who have long-term physical, mental, intellectual or sensory disabilities which, in interaction with barriers of a different nature, may prevent their full and effective participation in society on an equal basis with others” – we can conclude that a “person-first” language is used, i.e. putting the person in the foreground, stating that disability is not part of the person, but becomes a problem when there are architectural barriers that actually prevent the effective and full participation of people with disabilities in society.

We took a short tour of how people with disabilities had to fight to be heard and have their rights protected, and each of us can contribute to this cultural change, even starting with small things such as the use of correct language. We know that words form ideas and meaning, break down walls and build bridges. Therefore, if for decades there has been an incorrect use of numerous terms such as “disabled”, “disabled and maimed”, “disabled”, “disabled” “disabled” “differently abled”, thus underlining a negative perception of disability because it is synonymous with suffering and diseases, today we can help eliminate these prejudices and ensure substantive equality.

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